TOP business tourism buyers from around the world experienced the best that Kildare has to offer at the Connect 17 Showcase in the RDS recently.
Kildare Tourism Board brought 17 Kildare businesses together on a superb stand to sell the Kildare Experience to attendees at the biggest event of its kind in the country.
The Kildare brands took part in a series of meetings with hosted meetings and incentive tourism buyers over the two-day event.
“The 17 partners on the stand worked together selling the County Kildare experience to the attendees at the event,” said County Kildare Tourism Development Manager Aine Mangan.
“We made individual presentations to delegations from the US, Canada, the Benelux countries and Germany, as well as a presentation and trade chats with the national corporate incentive association and a host of other set appointments.”
Among the well-known Kildare brands and businesses were Newbridge Silverware, Kildare Village, The Curragh, Naas and Punchestown Racecourses, Osprey Hotel, Glenroyal Hotel, Clanard Court Hotel, Barberstown Castle, The K Club, Killashee Hotel, Bartons Transport and Mondello Park.
The Taste of Kildare Foodscapes section of the stand featured select food providers from around Kildare including Fallon’s of Kilcullen, Silken Thomas in Kildare, Harte’s of Kildare and Lock13 Sallins.
“It is fantastic to have this calibre of businesses aboard and involved in working together for the furtherance of the Into Kildare initiative,” said Aine.
“Connect 17 is the major annual gathering of the events industry, essential for anyone involved in the planning, organising or running of meetings and events.
“It featured over 230 exhibitors, and with the partnership package that we have put together, Kildare was right at the heart of the process over the two days.
“The meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry (MICE), and showcasing county Kildare to the buyers at this event will be vital to the future expansion of tourism industry in our county.
“Tourism plays a major part in the economy of the county, with over 550 enterprises involved in accommodation and food services in Kildare employing 5,500 people.
“Our goal at Kildare Tourism, is to oversee and support the creation of an additional 1,500 direct and indirect jobs within the hospitality and tourism across the county by the end of 2020.
“The target is to grow visitor revenue by 40% between now and mid-2020 through the Into Kildare brand. We aim to increase overseas visitor numbers by 25% and expand Irish visitors to the county by 30%.
“To do this, we need to collaborate/work together and optimise our unique location next to the capital.”